Damian Lillard laments blood test from NBA after his 71-point outburst: 'Are y'all serious?'
Damian Lillard exploded for a career-high 71 points Sunday in a win over the Houston Rockets.
After the game, the NBA administered the Portland Trail Blazers sharpshooter the first postgame blood test of his career. He was miffed.
Dame said tonight was the first time he had been blood-draw drug-tested following a game in his entire career.
His full thoughts on it: pic.twitter.com/ZKu5vIKmrd
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 27, 2023
"I mean, honestly, I was like, 'are y'all serious?'" Lillard told reporters. "I did the urine test yesterday. Then they backed it up with the blood draw tonight after the game."
Like a lot of us, Lillard doesn't like needles.
"It was actually my first time of my career being tested after a game," he said. "And aside from that, they know that I'm scared of needles. I know that I've got a lot of tattoos. But when you're doing a blood draw, it's different than tattoos.
"It brought me down from up here to the floor. All the way until it was done."
Testing for performance enhancers and other banned substances is a part of life at the highest levels of sports. But when random tests occur after a big performance, they almost always draw scrutiny.
The NBA and NBPA collectively bargained periodic blood testing on a random basis, as follows:
"During the season, collections for random testing will be scheduled to occur after practices on non-game days, and after games on game day."
That's verbatim from the "Blood Collection Procedures" section of the CBA that was ratified in 2017 and runs through 2024. It clearly states that postgame blood draws are part of the program, but Lillard getting the first of his 11-season career following a career performance doesn't exactly sound random.
And Lillard's isn't the first drug test this season to take place after a big game. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell said he was tested the day after his 71-point outburst in January.
Andddd just like that we are drug tested this morning 😂😂😂 https://t.co/LvlbcPDucP
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 3, 2023